University of South Carolina

As Gamecocks, our spirit has no limits.

By Liz White, lwhite@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-2848

The Mighty Sound of the Southeast marching band roared onto the historic heart of campus, shouting Gamecock cheers. Students stopped in their tracks to take pictures or videos.

There was a light breeze and a slight chill in the air when President Harris Pastides approached the front of the Horseshoe. He glanced up at the gathered crowd.

When Pastides began speaking, the faculty, staff and students of the university listened intently. A rustle brushed through the historic oak trees.

During the 35-minute State of the University speech Wednesday, the president praised the people of Carolina and honored achievements from across the university.

The celebration centered on the president’s announcement of the university’s first integrated marketing campaign that shares the inspiring, emotional and extraordinary personal stories of individuals at Carolina. Every day Gamecocks exceed expectations, realize goals and push boundaries.

As Gamecocks, our spirit has no limits.

Kevin Stam knows a USC with no limits. The senior men’s soccer player, who battles on the playing pitch, spends his hours off the field studying ways to achieve peace. Stam is at the heart of his team’s defense, and he is working toward his ultimate goal of international mediation. 

“Kevin knows that just as competition is fierce, conflict resolution can be just as intense,” Pastides said. “As a Gamecock and a student who balances academics and athletics with focused career plans, Kevin’s goals have no limits.”

The president pointed to the new signs decorating the Horseshoe that share stories like Stam’s.

University faculty and staff also know a USC with no limits. Marjorie Spruill still remembers the first time she pulled the lever to vote in 1972. Today as an expert in Southern women’s suffrage, Spruill, with help from her students, has documented the struggles to vote.

“They know that today’s ideas shape tomorrow’s actions,” Pastides said. “As Gamecocks, responsible citizenship has no limits.”

As the president shared these and more stories from Carolina, faculty, staff, students and alumni could recognize the emotional stories Gamecocks have to share. There were some goosebumps, along with laughter and pride.

“Confidence defines the University of South Carolina in 2012. In the past, confidence has not been in great abundance around here, but it is part of what defines us today,” he said.

Stam and Spruill are just a few Gamecocks that represent a Carolina with no limits. Pastides and the university want to honor every Gamecock who works, studies, teaches and graduates at Carolina. The university wants to share its stories with the rest of the world.

“We are not only South Carolina’s flagship university,” he said. “We want to be known as one of America’s great public university beacons.”

Full text of the president’s address is available here. For more on the new marketing campaign see the special edition of the USC Times Sept. 27

Other key points for the address: 

  • The operating budget of the university remains in balance and the university is in a sound financial position. 
  • $10 million dollars was appropriated by the General Assembly towards the construction of a home for South Carolina’s only public law school.
  • USC remains the only university in South Carolina with the Carnegie top-tier designation for very high research.
  • This past year also saw the first rating of public Honors Colleges and programs and the South Carolina Honors College was designated as the nation's best.
  • The Carolina's Promise capital campaign raised $146.8 million in fiscal year 2012, making USC 60 percent closer to the $1 billion dollar goal.
  • There has been a 68 percent increase in study abroad participation in the past five years. 
  • This year USC has a record-breaking 12 Fulbright Scholars who are currently ambassadors of the Gamecock nation in Asia, Europe and South America. 
  • The General Assembly for provided $5 million in funding for Palmetto College, which will allow students who are place bound by family or work responsibilities or by the economy to earn a full USC bachelor's degree.
  • USC introduced the Gamecock Gateway program, a partnership with Midlands Technical College that has brought 165 students to live on our campus while preparing them for direct transfer next year to Carolina.
  • Carolina is in the midst of hiring 315 tenure and tenure-track positions by 2015. This includes 120 faculty members who joined USC this fall.
  • In 2010-11, 24,000 students, faculty and staff volunteers contributed 331,000 hours of community service. 
  • Carolina has the distinction of being the only university in South Carolina to make the Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll with the highest possible score. 
  • The Darla Moore School of Business building is proceeding on budget and on time with the goal of creating the world's largest net zero building.

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Posted: 09/19/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 09/20/12 @ 8:55 AM | Permalink